Welcome to the Empire Patrol Website


"Dedicated to the thirty three Castellorizian refugees and the two crew members who perished - and to those who did survive this tragedy, and their brave rescuers."


Welcome to the Empire Patrol Disaster website! This site is a follow up and supplement to the book titled Embers on The Sea - The Empire Patrol Disaster, 1945 by Paul Boyatzis of Perth WA and Nicholas Pappas of Sydney NSW, published in 1995 by Halstead Press ISBN 1 875684 12 3.

Since the release of this publication fourteen years ago additional information, photographs and interviews have come to hand. There has also been commemorations and dedications in recent years that have taken place that should be identified and documented. This website has been created to share this additional data and to be a focal point and repository for other stories, photos and accounts that remain, in many cases, still as private and personal memories or in private collections.


The official launch of the Empire Patrol Website was held at Castellorizian House, Perth Western Australia on Friday September 10th 2010. Approximately fifty people attended the evening where Doctor Paul Boyatzis gave a live presentation of the website. He told of the story behind this disaster and the profound effects the sinking had on the future outcome for the island. Doctor Boyatzis also detailed the reasons behind why this website was created.

BACK ROW (from left): Doctor Paul Boyatzis (survivor and creator of the website), Antonis (Tony) Koufos (Perth correspondent for Kastelloriziaka Nea), Konstandinos (Dino) Houlis (survivor), Allan Cresswell (creator of website and Vice President Castellorizian Assn of WA), Jim Manifis (President Castellorizian Assn of WA)

FRONT ROW: Katina Yiannakis (nee Athanassiou) (survivor), Nicholas Loukas (survivor), Sophia Choli (Consul of Greece in Perth WA), Reverend Father Elpidios (Parish Priest Church of Saints Constantine and Helene Perth WA) and Athanasios (Arthur) Athanassiou (Athans) (survivor)

The MS Rodi soon after her launch in 1928 - later to become the SS Empire Patrol


There are many chapters in what makes up the Empire Patrol story and this website looks at the years leading up to the tragedy, the tragegy itself and the outcome that resulted in many families to migrate to Australia and other places. The refugees on the Empire Patrol were part of a real tragedy, not only for the disaster that they were involved in on the Mediterranean Sea, but for the tragedy of what was left back at Castellorizo that they were returning home to. Unbenowned to these Castellorizian families most of their homes and personal items had already been destroyed by another fire back on Castellorizo. The war years of World War Two, the many years of Italian occupation, the large fire on Castellorizo and the fire on the Empire Patrol spelt the end for the island for most. Migration to a new life in Australia to join their cousins was the only option left for many.

Doctor Paul Boyatzis, Nicholas Pappas and Allan Cresswell have come together to compile and present this tragedy from personal submissions that have been accumulated over many years. Of particular interest is the accounts that have come to hand from members of the rescue ships involved. One sailor involved in the rescue was even driven to write a poem about this tragedy.

Submissions to this website are most welcomed and encouraged. Stories, photographs and personal accounts relating to this tragedy can be submitted to the webmaster per email to: mail@empirepatrol.com for inclusion on this website. Mailing address, telephone and fax numbers are listed on the footer below.



  • This website has been compiled by Paul Boyatzis, Nicholas Pappas and Allan Cresswell. They are acknowledged under the Tab 'CREDITS' (displayed above on this page).

  • All contributors of stories, articles and photographs are acknowledged under the Tab 'SOURCES' (displayed on the left side of this page).


Please do sign the Guestbook to record your visit to the website. Click on the Tab above.



Allan (Agapitos) Cresswell
March 2010


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